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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Tobacco use remains the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States and in California. The Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) is one of three entities that constitute California’s program to control tobacco consumption and alleviate the burden of tobacco-related disease. This effort was initiated by Proposition 99, “The Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act of 1988” which mandated that the Department of Health Services, the Department of Education and the University of California be allocated a portion of the tobacco tax revenue collected to address issues of tobacco consumption and its consequences in the state. Enabling legislation requested that the University of California, in its role as the research arm of the state, “administer a comprehensive grant program to support research efforts related to the prevention, causes, and treatment of tobacco-related diseases” and that “ all qualified investigators, regardless of institutional affiliation, shall have equal access and opportunity to compete for the funds.”

The TRDRP is administered by the University of California and is a program of the Research Grants Program Office (RGPO), Office of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of California, Office of the President.

Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

There are 48 publications in this collection, published between 2013 and 2020.
Recent Work (47)

Receptivity to cigarette and tobacco control messages and adolescent smoking initiation


Tobacco industry cigarette advertising is associated with increased adolescent smoking, while counter tobacco advertising is associated with reduced smoking. As these campaigns compete for influence, there is a need to understand their inter-relationship on youth smoking.


This study reports data from a national population of families (n=1036) with an oldest child aged 10–13 years, identified by random digit dialling. Parent and child dyads completed baseline questionnaires in 2003. Adolescents were resurveyed in 2007–2008 (response rate 74%). Adjusted logistic regression explores associations between receptivity to cigarette and tobacco control advertising and adolescent smoking initiation.


In 2007–2008, 57.9% of adolescents reported a favourite tobacco control advertisement and 43.3% reported being receptive to cigarette advertisements. Thirty per cent reported receptivity to cigarette and tobacco control advertisements. Among those receptive to cigarette advertising, having a favourite anti-smoking advertisement had a borderline significant association with a 30% lower smoking rate. Anti-industry tobacco control messages were three times more likely to be favourites of those who were receptive to cigarette advertising than other tobacco control advertising.


Receptivity to tobacco control advertising appeared to ameliorate the promotion of initiation from cigarette advertising. Anti-industry advertising appears to be the most effective counter for tobacco control and should be considered for wider use. A larger longitudinal study is needed to confirm these findings.

Trends in Use of Little Cigars or Cigarillos and Cigarettes among U.S. Smokers, 2002–2011


Little cigars and cigarillos may resemble cigarettes, but may be less expensive and can be purchased singly and in flavored varieties. We used two major U.S. surveys to investigate use of cigarillos and cigarettes.


The 2010/2011 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey ascertained cigar use by brand and type (little cigars/cigarillos or large/regular). The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) assessed cigar use by brand, 2002–2011. We used the available data to classify cigars by type among males in the NSDUH.


Estimated prevalence of little cigar use among male cigar smokers was similar using the two surveys. From 2002 to 2011, past-30-day cigarette smoking declined for all age groups and genders, but among young adult men (aged 18–25) little cigar smoking remained steady at nearly 9%. “Cigarette and/or cigar” smoking was 44% among young adult men in 2011, and was consistently 6 percentage points higher than cigarette-only smoking, from 2002 to 2011. Over 60% of male and 70% of female adolescent/young adult cigar smokers also smoked cigarettes in 2011. Most male adolescents preferred little cigars to traditional cigars. Among males, most lower income or less educated cigar smokers preferred little cigars, compared to only 16% of those with higher education.


These patterns indicate that little cigar/cigarillo use may promote initiation and maintenance of cigarette smoking, particularly among younger and less advantaged populations. Population-level data are urgently needed to better assess type of cigar smoked and reasons for use.

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